Nikita Mazepin is set to miss this season’s British Grand Prix after Motorsport UK suspended licenses for Russian and Belarusian competitors.
The governing body for motorsport in the UK confirmed it is following IOC recommendations amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Motorsport UK chair David Richards said: “The entire Motorsport UK community condemns the acts of war by Russia and Belarus in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity and support towards all those affected by the ongoing conflict.
FIA says Russian drivers can continue to race in F1 - but in a neutral capacity
“We stand united with the people of Ukraine and the motorsport community following the invasion and the unacceptable actions that have unfolded. This is a time for the international motorsport community to act and show support for the people of Ukraine and our colleagues at the Federation Automobile d’Ukraine (FAU).”
The move means, as it stands, Haas’ Russian driver Mazepin will be unable to race at the Silverstone GP on July 3.
It comes a day after the FIA cleared Mazepin to race as a neutral athlete for the upcoming season.
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It remains to be seen whether more nations will follow the UK’s lead, with Mazepin's father - a financial backer for Haas - reportedly a close associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Image credit: Getty Images
There are reports Mazepin could be dropped by Haas, and his position could become untenable if he is unable to race at several GPs.
Motorsport UK confirmed on Wednesday: “Recognition of licences issued by the Russian Automobile Federation (RAF) and the Belarus Automobile Federation (BAF) is suspended in the UK.
"As a consequence:
- No Russian/Belarusian licenced teams are approved to enter motorsport competitions in the UK
- No Russian/Belarusian licenced competitors and officials are approved to participate in UK motorsport events
- No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags (on uniform, equipment and car) to be displayed at Motorsport UK permitted events
“The Motorsport UK decision was made in full consultation with the UK Government and national sports governing bodies to ensure that there is a unilateral response to the crisis.”
Richards added: “It is our duty to use whatever influence and leverage we might have to bring this wholly unjustified invasion of Ukraine to a halt. We would encourage the motorsport community and our colleagues around the world to fully embrace the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee and do whatever we can to end this war.
“Motorsport UK stands united with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the FAU, the Ukrainian motorsport community and the Ukrainian people and calls for the violence to end with a peaceful resolution.”
Among other steps taken to counter the crisis, the FIA confirmed that the 2022 F1 Russian Grand Prix would be cancelled.
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